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Over 100 global apparel brands shun Uzbek cotton
05
Nov '12
Uzbekistan cotton has again come under the world’s scanner for infringing international labour laws. 
 
More than 100 popular apparel labels like Zara, H&M, Gap, Walmart, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent have decided to shun Uzbek cotton, according to a statement released by the Oakland-based NGO Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN).
 
Since the past few years, Uzbekistan authorities are continuously being criticized by international human rights activists for inducing forced labour or modern slavery in their fields for cotton harvesting purposes.
 
Every year, around 2 million children and adults are forcibly sent to the fields by the Uzbek authorities to pluck cotton and this picked cotton is further purchased at a minimal rate by the Government and sold at a much higher market price internationally. Later, the profits earned from this system goes directly to the country’s privileged classes, the RSN said.
 
RSN has been actively involved in the international campaign against forced cotton picking in Uzbekistan for quite some time now. 
 
Its appeal to the world’s apparel manufacturers to denounce modern slavery in Uzbekistan has received a favourable response from the American and European apparel manufacturing companies, fashion houses and designers.
 
The NGO intends to continue its crusade until the International Labour Organisation (ILO) confirms that Uzbekistan has totally stopped forced labour in their cotton fields. 
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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